How Much Grass Seed per 1000 Square Feet Do You Need?

You might be thinking: ‘It’s just growing grasses, I can just kind of eyeball planting the seeds, and it will grow anyway.’

That, my friend, is how you end up with a patchy lawn with grasses wilding everywhere it shouldn’t be.

No pressure there! But wouldn’t you want to spend a little extra time reading a short guideline, and earn yourself a densely filled, lush lawn rather than a chaotic mess?

You would? Perfect! Because I have just what you need.

How much grass seed per 1000 square feet you need significantly depends on several factors which I will list out right below. Keep reading!

Factors to Consider

Types of Grass Seed

The first thing you need to bear in mind is the volume variations between different breeds of grass seed you use. In other words, the amount you need for one type of seed is most likely to hugely differ from another.

Lucky for us, for most grass seed brands, there are instructions telling you how much grass seed per 1000 square feet on the label. Check carefully for this information when you’re scrolling through the bags of seeds in gardening or home improvement stores. You can also look it up on e-commerce sites.

Let us give you an example. During the shop, you might find a brand specifying 5 pounds/1000 square feet to start growing a new lawn and 2 pounds/1000 square feet for reseeding. While another brand may suggest only 1 pound for every 1000 square feet planting grass on a new lawn.

The numbers on the label are not the only vital factor. It is, however, a fundamental figure to help you adjust later on when other factors are taken into consideration.

Areas

Weather and climate have a significant impact on many of your decisions. Would you cancel your picnic plan if it’s storming outside? Would you buy a bunch of summer clothes if you’re living in a cold country, say, Canada?

Growing grass is no different. Most seed types will sprout fine in sunny general locations like California. But in gloomy places like Washington, it’s a whole nother story.

Sunny Area

It’s a piece of cake for you to find seed breeds that love sunshine since they are everywhere. In these areas, it’s okay for you to follow the recommended amount on the label.

grass seed for sunny areas

Take tall fescue, for instance, its seeding rate is 6 to 8 pounds for every 1000 square feet, and that is exactly how much you should seed your sunny lawn.

Shady Area

Shady areas are quite a challenge. Still, it can be like a walk in the park if you follow our instructions. In this part, I’ll be showing you how much grass seed per 1000 square feet you need in gloomy weather for both cold and warm seasons.

It’s easier in the warm-season because there are seed types for that particular climate. For example, you’d normally distribute zoysia at a 1 to 3 pounds/square feet rate.

grass seed for shady areas

In the same area, you might need to dig a little deeper for cool-season grass breeds.

The most practical way is to blend various types of seeds together, including 40% of fine fescue, 40% of Kentucky bluegrass, and 10% of perennial ryegrass. The seeding rate for this mixture should be about 4 pounds per 1000 square feet.

High-Traffic Area

Believe it or not, high foot traffic makes quite an impact on your seed distributing plan.

Let’s look at an example. Perennial ryegrass is typically seeded at a rate of 4 to 5 pounds/1000 square feet. However, the seeding rate shifts to 2 to 5 pounds per 1000 square feet for recreational turf or lawns.

Remember to read the label thoroughly before jumping into action. The answer could be right under your nose.

New Lawn or Reseed?

There’s a significant difference in the seeding rate between growing a new lawn and overseeding an already existing lawn.

Regularly, reseeding only takes you half of the amount needed for starting from scratch. Exceed the referred amount, and you’ll be left with patchy turfs. And believe me, that mess is a pain to fix.

Let me remind you to check the label carefully for seeding rates for each purpose. In the case there’s only one number, find out if that number is for planting seeds on completely new, fresh soil, or for overseeding.

Why am I mentioning it three times? Well, we’ve all been there, have we? Wasting time researching when all you have to do is to read the instructions. The last thing we want is for that scenario to repeat here.

How to Seed Your Lawn

After sorting out how much grass seed per 1000 square feet to seed, you’ll need to apply that number to your lawn. Don’t know how to? I got you covered!

How Much Seed You Need for Your Lawn

First of all, measure the width and the length of your lawn. Next, grab your calculator and multiply those 2 figures (width*length) together, the result is the total area. Finally, divide the total area by 1000 and then multiply the answer with the amount of grass seed per 1000 square feet.

How to Plant Grass Seed

Before you get on to work, split the needed seeds into 2 equal parts. Then, using a seed spreader, lay one half out on the lawn horizontally and vertically for the other half.

Can You Plant Too Much Seed?

Yes, you can!

I have had people coming to us with misconceptions like: ‘Isn’t the more I seed, the more grass will grow?’ or ‘I thought if I sow extra seed, I can get a lush and verdant lawn’

Frankly, the only thing you’ll get for that is messy, uneven patches of grass. Here’s why: no matter how many seeds you grow, the nutritions of the soil will be the same. So the more amount you plant, the less nutrition each seed will get. And planting too much will turn your lawn into a chaotic Hunger Game where only a few survive.

Over to You

I said it before and I’ll say it again: Read the label before looking into other factors (Types of Grass Seeds, Areas, and Purpose) to get how much grass seed per 1000 square feet you’ll need for your lawn.

After that, using the calculations I provided, followed by my seeding guide, you can apply it to real life. And remember not to go too far with the volume.

Thanks for checking out GardenerAZ ‘s post. And feel free to leave a comment, we’re more than happy to check them out!

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